It is probably also the most involved quilt I have ever made. I hand picked all the fabrics for it, then there’s the piecing and appliqué, and I hummed and hawed over the quilting for what seemed like ages (in reality it was only a matter of days).
I am so in love with the final result! It’s so soft. Perfect for the beautiful three year old it was gifted to this afternoon at her birthday party.
The pattern comes from designer Heather Ross and is available for free on the Windham Fabrics website. The pattern has been around for a bit now and I noticed it last summer. Right from when I first saw it, I knew I had to make it for my sweet niece, Nina (who has been featured here a lot on the blog).
As I mentioned, this pattern has a little bit of everything… piecing, appliqué and then fun with whatever style of quilting you want to finish it with!
I auditioned a lot of different Aurifil threads for this quilt. Thankfully I have a good stash (and a colour card for ordering when I come across something I need and don’t have!). I used no less than 12 different thread colours on this quilt. A new record for me! Of course, Aurifil is my favourite thread and I never have to worry about it breaking or getting caught, even when I use it for free motion quilting.
For the appliqué I used a fusible webbing on the back and then blanket stitched around all sides to make sure this quilt would hold for years and years to come.
Trying to decide how to do the quilting was probably the hardest part of the whole quilt. I ended up posting a photo of the quilt top to a free motion quilting Facebook group that I’m part of and got some amazing ideas!
In the end, I trusted my gut and decided to keep the overall quilting to a minimum to keep the quilt soft and flowy – since it would be used regularly. I free motion quilted a round rug under the bed, and used a kind of thread painting technique to make a rustic hardwood floor on the bottom portion of the quilt. There’s also a free motion quilted frame with a little picture of the girl on the left side of the quilt to balance the open space there. The rest was straight line quilted at varying points.
I washed the quilt before I wrapped it up and it had the most beautiful drape to it. I know this quilt is just going to get better and softer with use.
As much as I enjoyed working on this quilt, I think I was almost more excited to give it to it’s recipient. She’s such a special girl in our lives and makes the world light up with her smile. I’ll share a few more photos of her and her birthday in the next few days but for now, I’ll leave you with a few more photos highlighting the details on her special birthday quilt.